In Travel & Visitors Guide

The coach house was torn down years ago, but dozens of pieces of it survive in the Pabst Mansion basement.

15 behind the scenes photos at The Pabst Mansion

Because – as a tribute to Mrs. Pabst, who was devoted to her family, and to all mothers this Mother's Day – The Pabst Mansion will offer self-guided behind the scenes tours from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, we're re-sharing this 2015 behind the scenes look at The Pabst Mansion. On Mother's Day, staff and docents will be stationed on the mansion's five levels to answer guests' questions. Happy Mother's Day!

"We had a really great thing happen here," says John Eastberg as we stand in a third-floor bathroom in The Pabst Mansion gazing up at areas of paint carefully removed to reveal stencilwork more than a century old. "A pipe burst."

Eastberg may or may not have stock in a plumbing repair company, but he sure is invested in the Ferry & Clas-designed Pabst Mansion, where he has worked for decades to restore the mansion to its glorious, ornate original beauty.

As director of development and senior historian – as well as author of such landmark Milwaukee history books as "Layton's Legacy" (LINK) and "Pabst Farms: The History of A Model Farm" – Eastberg knows every detail of the mansion, both inside and out.

A couple years back, he talked about the history of the pavilion Capt. Frederick Pabst erected for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair – designed by Otto Strack – which now serves as the entrance to the home and also as its gift shop. (LINK)

Last week, I went back so Eastberg could show me the progress on the work to restore the third floor, which was original guest rooms and a suite for Pabst's two sons and more recently housed Eastberg's office, a board room and other back-of-house services.

The space has been transformed – though work continues, especially in terms of acquiring appropriate furniture and completing extremely detailed stenciled paint work – but is now open to the public and included in tours of The Pabst Mansion.

The recent revelations beneath six or seven layers of paint mean there is now even more work to be done. In the meantime, take a walk with us as we look at the progress on the third floor and go behind the scenes in the basement and attic and on the roof of this Milwaukee landmark:

Third floor guest room

A secondary guest room was formerly Eastberg's office

The board room has been returned to a library

Here you can see pre- and post-restoration painting

Careful paint removal reveals original stencilwork in numerous rooms, as in this third floor bathroom

If you go up to the attic, remember to...

A nice, clean attic ... the Captain would be pleased

A skylight in the roof illuminates the more ornate stained glass above the stairway

This octopus of pipes in the attic connects the mansion's ventilation system to a rooftop vent

The elevator equipment still works, but isn't used anymore

Love, love, love the chimney

A view of the Domes from the roof

Just like at Pabst's old Building 29, the mansion has barrel vaults in the basement

The mansion's old heating system has brass dials in an oak cabinet, of course, in the basement


TheConductor | May 9, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. (report)

I used to work at WISN-TV, which is located directly behind the Pabst Mansion. The Coach House wasn't exactly torn down, but it was taken over as part of the broadcasting facility. It was the long-time home to WISN-AM. In a Google satellite view of the TV station at 19th & Wells, you can just make out the outline of the coach house building on the southeast side of the WISN complex.

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